I ran, literally, to get my hands on this sequel as soon as I finished book 1. I thought Book 1 had broken me enough, well, I was wrong.
The book jumps right in where we left Elias and Laia off from Book 1. They are running from Martials and are branding as fugitives. Helene faces her own monsters as she is sent on a mission to retrieve Elias alive.
Laia, the ever-determined strong female lead felt somehow overshadowed by everything else happening in this book. Towards the end of it all, I truly started missing the head-strong girl we met in Book 1.
Elias, on the other hand, did show a lot of character development, and I enjoyed reading his POVs.
Helene seemed confused out of her wits, and her POV seemed to drag and loop. Regardless, I still cared for her character and was emotionally invested in her.
If you thought Book 1 was dark, you are so DAMN wrong. I literally had to pause mid-chapter to take a breath and steel myself for what else was around the corner. We had The Commandment in Book 1. Now, we still have her, ruthless even more (if that was possible), there is the Warden of the Kauf Prison, the Nightbringer, and of course Marcus Farrar. After the first 100 Pages or so, I found myself saying ‘please no more’. Alas, the (multiple) plot twists that happened in the last 100 pages, were unexpected to say the least. Upon finishing this book, all I could was take a long sigh.
The book is written and paced well. It alternates between POVs of Elias, Laia and Helene. The world building has expanded, and we meet some old and new characters, along with new details about the supernatural being.
Overall this book was an emotional ride and while I’m not ready for book 3, I’m counting the days until I finally have it.
I give this 4.5 starts out of 5.